Mt. Athos, October 21, 2019
Photo: pravoslavie.ru The Transcarpathian monks who inhabited St. Panteleimon’s Monastery in the early 20th century were full of joy and the grace of God, wrote St. Silouan the Athonite in a newly-discovered letter.
According to Sergei Shumilo, the Director of the International Institute of the Athonite Legacy, a previously-unknown original letter of St. Silouan, dated April 16, 1934, has been discovered in the archives of the Russian St. Panteleimon’s Monastery.
In the letter, the great 20th-century saint describes the Transcarpathian monks and novices who joined the monastery in the 1920s and 30s, who later saved the monastery from total decline in the 60s and 70s.
As Shumilo notes, the letter of the famous Athonite elder is an important testimony to the close ties between Transcarpathia and Mt. Athos in the 20th century.
“It is a valuable addition to the book that we are preparing now on the basis of archival sources about Transcarpathians on Mt. Athos, which should be presented in Uzhgorod on November 6 during the international ‘Transcarpathia and Athos: Spiritual-Cultural Connections’ conference (for the 120th anniversary of the birth of Hieroschemamonk Avvakum (Vakarov) [a spiritual child of Sts. Silouan and Alexei (Kabaliuk)—OC.com],” Shumilo explained.
The director published a quote from the newly-discovered letter on his Facebook page: “The Carpathians really flourish and live well here. I thank God for them very much, that He sent them to us to glorify the Lord. When they come to me, I say to them: How the Lord loves you and brought you to the Holy Mountain, where all the roads are trodden by the prayers of the saints and how the Mother of God loves Holy Mt. Athos. They just sit and smile, with joy in their hearts, and the grace of God visibly comforts them.”
In May, Shumilo reported that he had uncovered previously-unknown archival documents that shed light on the asceticism and trials that St. Lawrence of Chernigov endured.
In March 2017, Shumilo reported on the discovery of the relics of the Athonite elder Anikita (Prince Shirinskii-Shikhmatova, 1783-1837), which had been lost for 25 years.